A friend and early mentor of mine, Eric Keshin, used to talk about creating “bias” for a product or service. Bias has a bit of a negative connotation today but as a strategy in branding it is spot on. One can attempt to position a competitor by denigrating them, creating a negative bias — or, stay closer to home, and elevate one’s own product, creating a positive bias.
Done well one can accomplish both. That is, focus on elevating your brand and by inference diminish the competition. Don’t spend time talking about your competition, but attempt to find a perceived weak spot and play to it. Burger King did this so well with Flame Broiled. Everyone knows McDonalds grills. Coors did it with mountain fresh water. Everyone knows Budweiser and Miller aren’t brewed in the mountains.
Finding ways to create positive bias toward your product or service is the primary job of the brand planner.